I’ve been moving back and forth between OS X and Linux for the last 5 years or so, mostly due to performance reasons. Currently I’m moving away from OS X and back to Linux, hopefully for the last time. My main reason for this is to gain more control over what my computer does and what data it sends out. I no longer feel like I’m in control of my machine when I use OSX or Windows. However, I do still find OSX applications better from a productivity stand point. My main goal right now is to find good enough alternatives to the software I normally used in OSX. I’ll be making posts over the coming months on most of these programs and why I feel they’re useful to have.
Linux Alternatives for OSX Programs
|OSX Program||Linux Alternative(s)||Reasons for Choosing Alternative|
|1password||lastpass and keepassx||I’m using two because lastpass has a good browser plugin so it’s useful for website information. Keepassx is more useful to keep other passwords, such as ssh account passwords.|
|Acorn||GIMP||Acorn is an image manipulation program. GIMP is the best Linux image manipulation program that I am aware of.|
|Adium||Pidgin||Pidgin isn’t as pretty as adium, but it works the same.|
|Hazel||Custom Script||Hazel can run scripts and move files on a regular basis based on filename. This should be able to be accomplished with shell scripts and a cron jobs.|
|iTunes||Audacious||I was a big fan of XMMS and Winamp, so I prefer something simple like Audacious over more of a music library manage like amarok.|
|Launchbar||built-in awesome functions or Synapse||The awesome windows manager has built in functionality for doing launches. Again, it’s not as nice as launchbar, but it works. Synapse also looks like an interesting alternative and I will be looking in the future to see how well that works in awesome.|
|NetNewsWire||LifeRea||LifeRea has a similar layout to NetNewsWire. One drawback is that LifeRea stores the google account password in cleartext. I’m accepting this risk by creating a separate google account that is only used for news feeds.|
|Notational Velocity||ZIM or KeepNote||Notational Velocity is a great note taking application that doesn’t require any explicit save option. I’m currently looking into ZIM and KeepNote as a replacement. I’ll be posting a blog post on this soon.|
|OmniFocus||todotxt||OmniFocus is hands down the best todo list program I’ve ever used. I haven’t found anything comparable for it in Linux. Instead I’m going back to the basics and using todotxt, which is a bash script that helps manage a text file todo list.|
|OmniOutliner||vim||A good outliner program that gets out of the way is hard to find. I haven’t found anything comparable in either Windows or Linux. Instead I’m using vim with some options to make it easier to deal with outlines.|
|OmniGraffle||dia||dia is the best diagram program that I’ve found for Linux.|
|Parallels||VirtualBox||VirtualBox lacks some of the features of parallels, such as encrypting VMs. However, it has other features that I use, such as VDE and IOMMU/VT-d support.|
|TextExpander||AutoKey||AutoKey is a python script that monitors the keyboard and will do a replacement of text when it sees a specific string. You can also have it run a python script and replace a string with the output of that script. I’m currently unsure of the security implications of using this program.|
|Time Machine||deja-dup||Deja-Dup is a GUI frontend for duplicity. I’m still in the process of determing if its better to backup to a portable drive or a file server.|
|Textual||weechat||I use weechat over irssi since I have an awesome plugin to monitor notifications in it.|
Programs That I Haven’t Found Alternatives For
BusyCal - Calendar application.
Coderunner - Simple GUI text editor with color coding syntax.
Day One - Journaling Program
Fantastical - Enter calendar entries via text
Keyboard Maestro - Allows you to run macros via keyboard shortcuts.
Patterns - Used to test regexp strings.
Scrivener - Writing program designed for 10+ page documents. Unison - Usenet reader